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Equine Evac Comes to the Rescue Again

Horse Sense-itive Equine Evac, an all volunteer program that started back in the 1990 Painted Cave Fire, is a Santa Barbara based organization formed to give aid, rescue, and care for large animals displaced in times of emergency. During the Tea Fire, they took in a total of 60 horses, 5 goats and 1 llama. When an family, without a trailer and under mandatory evacuation, was forced to leave their horse behind on Mountain Dr. volunteer and founding member Kathy O'Connor was not only able to reach the animal with a trailer but when the horse refused to get in the trailer, O'Connor walked the animal through smoke and burning embers and out to safety. In between emergencies Equin Evac meets regularly to train and prepare for the next event including practice for trailer accidents and airlift rescues. Equine Evac offer its services free of charge and relies on trained volunteers, donations of feed, medicine, various equipment, and funding. Donations of time, money are always welcome and the organization is looking for help starting and maintaining a Web site to provide updates in times of emergencies and general information on how to stay prepared. Contact Kathy O'Connor at 805-680-5878 with inquiries.

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Equine Evac, an all-volunteer organization born of the Painted Cave Fire in 1990 and housed in donated stalls at Earl Warren Showgrounds, once again comes to the rescue of Santa Barbara's livestock in times of disaster.

Published on November 16, 2008

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Equine Evac original member Kathy O'Connor notes, "Animals are a lot like people in that some react well to stressful situations and some don't." Though it can be dangerous to have two horses in one stall these two horses, previously acquainted, were markedly more relaxed when housed together.

Published on November 16, 2008

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Volunteer Kris Kimpel makes the rounds with some carrots

Published on November 16, 2008

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It's dinnertime and volunteers serve up donated hay & feed to 60 horses, 5 goats, and 1 llama

Published on November 16, 2008

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Volunteers put in long days feeding, cleaning and caring for the animals

Published on November 16, 2008

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A happily-housed goat hopes for a treat from the cameraman

Published on November 16, 2008

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Baby goats safe and sound

Published on November 16, 2008

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The odd man in this llama seems most happy to be far from the smoke and flames.

Published on November 16, 2008

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Buddies from before the fire this Miniature and 17 1/2-hand horse preferred to share a stall.

Published on November 16, 2008

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Buddies from before the fire this Miniature and 17 1/2-hand horse preferred to share a stall.

Published on November 16, 2008

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Even though the Trail Blazer Festival was in full swing this weekend at Earl Warren Showgrounds CEO Scott Grieve said, "Whatever you need." donating the housing of evacuated livestock to Equine Evac

Published on November 16, 2008

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Hans J. Mainz didn't wait for any possible evacuation orders to find safe housing for his mustang Apache

Published on November 16, 2008

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Equine Evac volunteers Amy Moore (left) and Kathy O'Connor (right) dispense medication to alleviate Vanna's smoke-damaged eyes.

Published on November 16, 2008

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One reason why Equine Evac's volunteers can be hard to come by is "We're not dealing with cats and dogs here." states Kathy O'Connor. "You have to have to be experienced and comfortable with large animals" as displayed here with Amy Moore holding back Honey, 1,200+ pounds of stubborn mule, while Kathy O'Connor gets the gate closed.

Published on November 16, 2008

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It's not all petting and feeding carrots. In addition to feeding and walking, dedicated volunteers, putting in long hours, are also charged with the unglamorous job of "mucking out" stalls

Published on November 16, 2008

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Even when the chores are done volunteers discuss special situations noticed while making rounds.

Published on November 16, 2008

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